Abraham Lincoln said “that the best way to predict the future is to create it”.
When it comes to your business, you can only control what you can manage and take your best-educated guess at the other stuff. For example, politics, politicians, and policies, both domestic and international will influence the way we think about the future, but your customers will still have a need.
The future also is informed by the past so all of the information that you gathered will help toward making a better decision and improving the subsequent results. At this point the use of better systems to capture store sort and present information in a usable way would be helpful.
What does your gut tell you, I have an idea what mine is saying so I’ll share.
Retailers that fail to learn from past mistakes and lack the vision to diversify or partner will find it difficult. The business that doesn’t finally start to use social as an economic and vital way way of keeping their business front of mind, will struggle to be heard.
Market towns will start to grow around the country similar to the model in Altrincham because it appeals to the new and growing trend of social gathering, a part of which food and drink are central. The out of town discounters will continue to grow their ranges and take market share as a more informed customer becomes aware. When branded products can be up to 40% cheaper it can be a deciding factor in where to shop.
In the 80’s there was the DIY boom that lasted several years and then technical and practical skills that people had diminished and everyone became to busy. I still think there is more of a place for DIY because of YouTube, e.g. the supermarkets place dishes online along with the ingredients so the result is more people cooking.
I guess the biggest problem facing small businesses that sell product, is how do they compete with Amazon but the fact is, that you don’t. As a machine Amazon feeds on the weakness of suppliers ability to get to market and the problem is only made worse when the said suppliers take the easy route through Amazon rather than replicating what they do. As a system I have to admire the Amazon way but what it does is make shopping less considered and the shopping process is swipe left. What is different about your business that makes you Amazon proof?
The biggest area of growth for retail is still the growing grey market with more disposable income and time. Their outlook on life is much different to that of 20 years ago in that rather than retire and join the golf club or sewing circle they travel more and have more active to do lists. Where retailers in the past have grown their business on inflated margins and low competition will need to reconsider as online there are no barriers!